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German exports rise unexpectedly high in March

May 7, 2024

A good demand for German products in the US and China has resulted in a surprisingly high export rate in March. But economic growth in the first quarter remained miniscule.

Woman working on a conveyor belt for manufacturing cars
Products 'Made in Germany' were in demand in the US and China in particularImage: Michael Gottschalk/photothek/picture alliance

German exports rose by 0.9% in March over the previous month, according to figures released on Tuesday by Germany's federal statistics office, Destatis.

The rate of increase, which resulted in a 1.2% rise in comparison with last year, was unexpected, with economists consulted by Reuters news agency predicting export growth of just 0.4%.

Despite the March growth, exports as a whole in the fourth quarter contracted.

From January to March 2024, German-made goods with a total value of €402.2 billion ($422 billion) were exported, which is 1.1% less than in the same period last year, the office said. 

What else did Destatis say?

The export rise to €134.1 billion ($1.44 billion) was driven largely by demand from the US and China.

Exports to the US grew by 3.6% and those to China by 3.7%. Those rises were counterbalanced by a fall of 3.8% in exports to Britain.

Germany's exports to its EU neighbors grew by 0.5%, totaling €73.3 billion.

Imports also rose for the third month in a row, increasing by 0.3% on February to €111.9 billion, though this was 3% down on the same period last year. The foreign trade surplus was around €22 billion.

Overall, Germany's economy has seen slight growth of 0.2% in the first quarter.

In March, several German economic institutes cut their 2024 growth forecast for Germany to 0.1%.

 tj/wmr (dpa, Reuters)

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